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Updating terms and conditions / cs webinars 
August 15, 2020
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Updating terms and conditions
            I get emails all the time from companies that say “we’ve updated our terms and conditions, click here to accept”.  Is this legal and if so is it possible to implement the same concept in our industry?   Getting updated contracts has always been a challenge.   We typically do it by updating contacts and include the contract in the same docusign; this seems to work well. 
Name withheld
            There are a few ways that “terms and conditions” are updated by businesses.  The notice could read:
  *  Click here to accept
  *  Continued use of our service constitutes your acceptance
            I’ve previously explained that “terms and conditions” are really interchangeable with the terms of a contract.  I’ve also tried to instill in all alarm dealers the principle that no alarm services should be provided without a written contract.  There’s a reason for that; it’s the enormous potential liability alarm dealers face.  The dichotomy of your perception [detection] versus your customer’s perception [prevention] ends up having your customer, and it’s insurance company exercising subrogation rights, looking to you when a loss occurs.  
            Though not widely known, and yet resisted at every opportunity, you are permitted to contract away liability for your breach of contract and negligence.  You can also limit you liability by contract.  You accomplish this only by a properly worded contract, or terms and conditions.  Before a judge will even look at the terms of a contract there will first have to be a determination that the contract itself was properly presented and executed.  Numerous consumer laws are applicable.  A meeting of the minds is required, even when one of those minds is by lawful definition, a “least sophisticated consumer”.   
            You have to rely on the terms of your contract for your own self-preservation.  Your entire business relies on your contractual protection.  You think that you can rely on your insurance E&O?  Well, you can, up to a point.  Just this week I was assigned the defense of a fire loss.  The entire commercial building burned down affecting not only the owner of the building but 15 commercial tenants.  You think the dealer’s million dollar policy is going to be enough?  Now you know why the dealer is going to have to pray that it has a proper contract [which by the way it doesn’t, so praying isn’t going to help].  
            Trying to update terms and conditions, or modify the terms of the contract, would have to be done with the same formality as getting the contract signed in the first instance.  Changing terms and conditions may work for minor issues, like:
  *  we are changing the phone number you should call us on
  *  we are changing our hours of service calls
  *  we have changed our monitoring center
  *  we have changed our billing from one period to another
            But would you be comfortable changing the wording of any of the “protective” provisions in the contract or terms and conditions by “notice of updated terms”?  Can you image trying to use a notice of update where continued use of the service constituted acceptance when changing the exculpatory clause or indemnity clause?  I’m not comfortable with that, and neither should you be.
            Get and use updated contracts and don’t be afraid to ask your customers to sign updated forms.

Register Now for the CS webinar series: 
Electronix Systems C.S.A:  August 18, 2020  12 PM ET
Emergency 24:   August 19, 2020 12 PM ET
Central station webinars
            Not all central stations on The Alarm Exchange have opted to participate as of yet.  You still have time.  Contact our Concierge Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at or 516 747 6700 x 304.  You just might pick up one or more dealers.
            And, speaking of dealers, selecting the right central station is important; there’s lots to consider.  K&K is saving you the trip to Vegas and bouncing from one booth to another, stuffing your pockets with candy and pens [not that there is anything wrong with that].  You have and you will be hearing from the best of the best in this webinar series.  
            Keep in mind that any legitimate central station is going to require you to sign a Dealer Agreement.  This isn’t a car rental contract at the airport.  It can be modified and you need to ask for those modifications.  I’ve designed a Rider that applies to every central station Dealer Agreement because it includes all the provisions a dealer should be asking for and is entitled to.  If you are negotiating with a new central station or re-negotiating with your current central station, be sure to get the Rider.  It’s $500 and well worth it.  Order it at in the Monitoring Centers Contracts category.
Central Station* 2020 webinar series K&K is hosting webinars by central stations, one at a time, who will address "why you should be using our central station".  Each webinar will be approximately 20 minutes and then Q&A opportunity.  See what your central station has to offer or what others offer, enabling you to choose the right central station for you.  You should be using a central station listed on The Alarm Exchange to be assured of quality and more importantly, accountability.
  *  only central stations on The Alarm Exchange will be invited to participate

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreementsclick here:
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301